CRA concludes talks with counties on the next five-year basis for revenue sharing among county governments

In May 2024, the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) concluded a series of consultations with county governments as part of its journey to establish the next Basis for Equitable Revenue Sharing Among County Governments.

These discussions aimed to reassess the current Third Basis and gather valuable input from county governments for the forthcoming Fourth Basis. This new framework will dictate revenue sharing among the counties for five years, from 2025/26 to 2029/30. Parliament is mandated to finalize the framework by December 2024.

The stakeholder engagement process consisted of face-to-face discussions with seven (7) regional economic blocs, each representing a distinct set of counties with shared developmental goals. From the arid lands of the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) to the bustling coastal region under Jumuia ya Pwani (JYP), every bloc offered unique perspectives crucial for crafting a fair and just revenue allocation framework.

Highlights of the Consultations with the FCDC

During the Commission’s Consultations with the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) on March 21, 2024, Governors from Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, Tana River, Lamu, West Pokot, Samburu and Turkana articulated their perspectives on the Third Basis for Revenue Sharing, offering substantive recommendations for its enhancement in the upcoming cycle.

Top on their list of concerns were the vast land areas of some of the counties, which made it costly to offer services especially road infrastructure, security and health services.

The Commission Chairperson Mary Chebukati emphasized the importance of scientifically identifying the challenges faced by counties to inform the development of the Fourth Basis for revenue sharing. She stated that without scientific evidence to support the Basis, the recommendations for revenue sharing would not be fair or nationally acceptable.

The members of the FCDC who were present were H.E Hon. Ahmed Abdullahi (Governor Wajir County), H.E Hon. Issa Timamy (Governor Lamu County), H.E Hon. Mohamed A. Khalif (Governor Mandera County), H.E Hon. Simon Kachapin (Governor West Pokot County), H.E Hon. Mohamud Ali (Governor Marsabit County); CRA Chairperson CPA Mary W. Chebukati, Vice Chairperson Koitamet Olekina, C.E.O James Katule, CRA commissioners Hon. Fatuma Gedi, Jonas Kuko, Dr. Isabel Waiyaki and  Muasya Mutiso attended the event.

SEKEB talks illuminate concerns over absence of water parameter in revenue-sharing framework

The discussions held with the South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB) on April 25, 2024, at the Machakos County Government offices, shed light on a critical issue: the absence of a water parameter in the revenue-sharing basis.

SEKEB, comprised of Makueni, Kitui, and Machakos counties, raised their apprehensions during the discussions spearheaded by Governors H.E. Wavinya Ndeti (Machakos), H.E. Dr. Julius Malombe (Kitui), and Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. (Makueni). Their focus centered on among other critical issues, the urgent necessity to tackle the persistent water scarcity issues within the region. The Commission acknowledged that water had been omitted from previous bases due to the unavailability of national-level data disaggregated to the sublocation level.  Proposing persuasive arguments, SEKEB advocated for the collection of water data by the mandated national institutions as a precursor to its integration into the revenue-sharing framework.

CRA Vice Chair Koitamet Olekina, along with Commissioners Dr. Isabel Waiyaki, Muasya Mutiso, Fatuma Gedi, Khadija Juma, and Director Lineth Oyugi, attended the meeting.

CEREB Counties urge consideration of OSR costs in revenue sharing basis

On April 26, the Commission engaged in crucial consultations with the 10 Central Regional Bloc (CEREB) counties—Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Kiambu, Meru, Nakuru, Kirinyaga, and Embu—focusing on the Fourth Basis for Revenue Sharing Among County Governments. The discussions underscored the urgent need to reassess the cost of raising Own Source Revenue (OSR) to foster investment and trade, leveraging the rich natural resources within these counties, including national parks, game reserves, and minerals.

Reaffirming its commitment to the principles enshrined in Article 203 of the Constitution, the Commission pledged to develop a fair and equitable Fourth Basis for revenue sharing. This new basis will be meticulously crafted, considering emerging issues affecting key parameters such as population, health and land area.

The Commission highlighted its dedication to continuous dialogue with stakeholders to ensure a scientifically backed, fair revenue distribution framework. The unique needs of all 47 counties will be given careful consideration.

Notable attendees included Nyeri County Governor H.E. Mutahi Kahiga, Murang’a Deputy Governor H.E. Stephen Munania, Tharaka Nithi Deputy Governor H.E. Francis Kagwima, Laikipia Deputy Governor H.E. Reuben Kamuri, Nyandarua Governor Kiarie Badilisha, CEREB CEO Ndirangu Gachunia and Murang’a CEC Finance Prof. Kiarie Mwaura.

Consultations with Jumuia ya Pwani

On May 2, 2024, the Commission engaged with Jumuia ya Pwani (JYP), representing the six coastal counties: Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, and Taita Taveta. The meeting was led by Governor Maj (Rtd) Dr. Dhadho Godhana Gaddae of Tana River County. During the consultation, JYP emphasized several critical factors affecting the coastal areas, urging the Commission to consider them in their assessments. These factors include: water area, urban households, migrants and Level 5 health facilities.

JYP highlighted the strategic importance of certain coastal counties, noting their roles as gateways to the hinterland with ports, unique tourism, and wildlife opportunities.

Additionally, they raised concerns about the impacts of climate change, the blue economy, and the contribution of JYP counties to the national GDP.

Key attendees of the meeting from JYP included Senators Johnes Mwashushe Mwaruma (Taita Taveta), Joseph Githuku (Lamu), Faki Mohamed Mwinyihaji (Mombasa), Boy Issa Juma (Kwale), and Governors H.E Abdullswamad Sherrif Nassir (Mombasa), H.E Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi), and Andrew Mwadime (Taita Taveta).

Consultations with MAA Economic Bloc

Consultations with MAA Economic Bloc also took place on May 2, 2024, encompassing Narok, Kajiado, and Samburu counties. Key issues raised included considering the migratory population due to pastoralism, addressing the imbalance of emphasis between urban and rural populations, and ensuring the agriculture index adequately reflects livestock, a crucial aspect for these counties.

Notable attendees included H.E. Lati Lelelit (Samburu Governor), Jackson Mpario (CEO MAA Economic Bloc), Silvana Kaparo (CEC Finance Samburu) and Alias Kisota (CECM Finance Kajiado).

Consultations with LREB counties

Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Nandi, Vihiga, Siaya, Kisumu, Kericho, Homa Bay, Nyamira, Bomet, Kisii, and Migori— on May 7, 2024 yielded significant proposals aimed at improving service delivery. Key areas of focus included enhancing the blue economy, health services, environmental sustainability, water management, and climate resilience to bolster the Bloc’s economic competitiveness.

Governors H.E. Simba Arati (Kisii), H.E. Hon. James Orengo (Siaya), H.E. Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), H.E. Ochilo Ayacko (Migori) and H.E. Hon. Gladys Wanga (Homabay) and other officials attended the meeting.

The NOREB counties—Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, and Nandi—submitted a detailed written memorandum to the Commission. Their proposals will be evaluated alongside those from other regional blocs.

Nairobi County, which is not part of a Regional Development Bloc has not yet provided its proposals.